It Was the Best of Times…

This week we’re asked to share how we spent our summer vacation.

As I mentioned last week, years of living on a school calendar have me thinking of June, July and August as the months in which I have to scramble to get things done. For the last ten years, I’ve been semi-retired (I still teach, but only part time, and the college schedule isn’t as intense as the elementary school one). Even when we didn’t travel, those months signified a true vacation.

This summer was pretty quiet. I didn’t go anywhere (I did my traveling during spring break in March) and I didn’t take on any writing challenges (other than completing a new novella). Other than the four goals I listed last week, I didn’t have any major aspirations. But I did want to make an effort to eat healthy, get some exercise, and write every day. I also wanted to sew each day in an effort to make a dent in the mountain of fabric in this house.

Of course, whenever you make a plan, distractions happen to stand in the way of your reaching them.

Some distractions were not so good. Early in the summer I started to get excruciating headaches that prevented me from doing anything but lie down with a cold cloth on my face. On those days, writing, sewing, and exercising were far from my mind. My husband had a health scare and we made the round of doctors and tests to find out why his white blood cell count was so high. And our new kitchen flooring installation, which was supposed to be a two-day job, turned into a two-week nightmare.

glassesThe headaches have subsided, thanks to an awesome tip from fellow author Kay Springsteen. Like me, Kay spends a fair amount of time each day in front of her computer screen. She recommended special computer glasses that filter out the glare from the screen. I immediately looked them up and discovered they were available at a local store and bought a pair the very next day. My son-in-law calls them my Bono Glasses because of the yellow lenses, but since they have helped me get my work done, I’ll wear them.

Hubby’s tests have been completed and even though his white blood cell count is high, it’s not due to leukemia or any other kind of cancer. Since he’s a smoker, we’re guessing that’s the problem. But for now, we can rest a little easier. And the kitchen floor is in, so we no longer have the refrigerator and stove in the dining room.

bagsOf course, most of my distractions were good. We got more time with the grandkids because the day care my daughter and son-in-law had arranged didn’t work out, and we are more than happy to be their backup plan when needed. But at ages two and four, the little ones need a lot of supervision. Writing, sewing, and other projects are not possible while they are here. But before we set up Camp Grandma and Grandpa, I managed to get several sewing projects done. I used up a lot of my fabric “stash” making tote bags, which I give away at various promotions.

IMG_1084Other than planned projects and goals that weren’t quite met, I spent my summer doing some fun things, like listening to my daughter perform with her bluegrass cover band. I’m proud of all my kids, and love the chance to support them – but this particular child has never been ashamed to have her mother around to help and cheer her on. I also visited my step-daughter’s home-away-from-home. She and her husband own a spot at a nearby lake and they invited all of us there this summer. I also played three concerts with the community band, so I won’t be totally out of practice when orchestra rehearsals start up this week.

I’ve also continued to learn new things. A few weeks ago I mentioned the new phone/watch hubby got for me. The company that made it (the one named after a fruit) is famous for making easy-to-use products, so I’ve been gradually trying out all the features. I also started an Instagram account, so I’ve been playing with that. I play Words With Friends – I always have the maximum number of games allowed at a time – and I’ve learned a lot of new words. And I’ve done a lot of reading. Some of it was research, but I’ve also enjoyed books written by several author friends.

All in all, I’d say it was a good summer.

How was yours?


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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8 Responses to It Was the Best of Times…

  1. Bono glasses! Love it!
    You got a lot done, don’t kid yourself. Sounds like a fun Summer, except for your husband’s health issues, which I hope are resolved soon.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Tonette. I guess it has been a productive summer, and I have had fun. Unfortunately Hubby’s issues, unless he bites the bullet and stops his nicotine habit, are probably here to stay.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    gosh, I’m exhausted just reading about your summer.
    Sorry about the health issues… glad the Bono glasses have fixed one of those.
    Hope hubby gets his white cells regulated — might be a good time for him to drop the nicotine!
    I know what you mean about distractions and Camp Grandfolks. Similar situation here.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I would LOVE it if hubby dropped the nicotine habit. But he’s been at it for three quarters of his life, so it would be like telling me to quit chocolate – and that’s NOT going to happen! Camp Grandfolks is exhausting, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Seems like you got a lot done. Watching little ones that age makes it harder to get anything accomplished.
    I have enjoyed playing Words With Friends with you this summer. I need to download it to my phone again since it stopped working on there. I miss playing it and only play it sporadically now that I have to go to my computer to play a word.

    I am glad the glasses have helped you and hope that your husband’s white blood cell count gets back to normal soon. I am sure that had to have been an incredibly scary time waiting for those results to come back in.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I wondered what happened to you! Yes, it is a pain playing it on the computer – I’ve done that, and it’s puzzling why it takes longer to play it on a laptop than on a phone. Yes, the waiting was scary, so I’m glad we finally got results.


  4. Diane Burton says:

    I’m glad you found a solution to your headaches, Patty. You had a very busy summer. So did we, esp. the Camp Grandparents “duty.” Like you, I love those times with the grandkids.I actually got out my sewing machine and made gr’daughter a jumper and a dress for her doll. Fun!


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      The glasses are a true blessing Diane! Yes, it was busy, but I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m sure your granddaughter loves her new doll clothes.


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